5th Annual Swamptown Getdown Music Festival

April 24-24 at the Okefenokee Fairgrounds in Waycross

smaller-transparent_SGMFestival_LogoWith the promise of Spring right around the corner, our thoughts turn to romance, baseball, beach trips, and getting down in the swamp town! The 5th Annual Swamptown Getdown Music Festival, presented by Safe at Home Productions, is set for April 24-25 at the Okefenokee Fairgrounds in Waycross, GA, and will feature a diverse lineup with 19 acts ranging in style from bluegrass, blues and country to reggae, rock and jam.

Headlining the Swamptown Getdown Music Festival will be South Carolinian Zach Deputy and Col. Bruce Hampton of Atlanta. Zach Deputy has made his mark thus far as a touring powerhouse. As a boy, the music of his Puerto Rican, Cruzan and Irish heritage was cooked up in the South Carolina heat. The Calypso rhythms and folk songs of St. Croix competed with the R&B/soul of pioneers like James Brown and Ray Charles for space on the family stereo. As Deputy honed his craft, a unique hybrid of these influences emerged, ultimately creating the signature Zach Deputy sound.

Zach Deputy will feature his unique music Saturday April 25 at 8pm. To bring this sound to the stage, the big, impossibly upbeat South Carolinian with the infectious smile puts on a solo show–enhanced by looping technology–that is essentially a one man dance party offering up what he calls “island-infused, drum ‘n’ bass, gospel-ninja-soul” to the enthusiastic crowds of dancers.

It’s impossible to sum up the legendary Col. Bruce Hampton in a few sentences, but we will try anyway. Here are a few fun facts:  He learned about blues music from a woman who was born a slave. He bought his first guitar from a neighborhood kid named John Huey, who grew up to be the editor-in-chief of Time. As a teenager visiting New York City, he was befriended in a coffee shop by a guy clad in a bathrobe, who turned out to be Frank Zappa. He was so close to Duane Allman that he can recount in precise detail the late guitarist’s amplifier modifications. Whew!  “You’ve got to live a life,” Hampton likes to say. “I don’t think I’ve ever lived my life; I’m living someone else’s life.”

Col. Bruce is well-known in Georgia music circles and beyond as the founder of the avant garde Hampton Grease Band in the late 60s and the progressive rock/jazz/funk group from the 90s, Aquarium Rescue Unit. Adding major motion pictures to his resume, Hampton played the part of Morris, the band manager, in Billy Bob Thornton’s 1996 film, Sling Blade.

Col. Bruce Hampton and The Madrid Express will take the stage on Friday April 24 at 9pm. Appearing in Col. Bruce’s band will be Carter Herring, guitar virtuoso and son of guitar virtuoso Jimmy Herring of Widespread Panic.

Waycross will be well represented at Swamptown Getdown by local artists Copperhead, Droppers, The Pine Box Dwellers, The Woodgrains, and Uncle Dave & The Younguns.

Out of town artists on the Getdown stage will feature these Athens bands:  Beauty and The Beard, dangfly!, and Lowdive. Freddy’s Finest will represent Atlanta, and Mojo Bone, My First Circus, Red On Red, and Thunderbird will represent Brunswick/St. Simons. Lazy Lightning hails from Valdosta. From out of state, Back From The Brink and Chillakaya1 are from Jacksonville, and the Kris Bell Band is from Nashville.

There are myriad local and out-of-town vendors showcasing everything including art, clothing, food, homemade soaps and incense, hula hoops, jewelry, and music.

Advance Weekend Passes for the festival may be purchased at a savings online at www.stgdfest.com. Deadline for online purchase is midnight April 11.

Daily admission may be purchased at the Main Gate of the festival. All admission includes free primitive camping. Along with the primitive camping there are plenty of onsite RV hookups available. RV rates for the entire weekend are only $30.

Gate prices for one day are $25. Children 12 and under receive free admission.  Students and Military Personnel with valid ID will receive a $5 reduction off the price of admission.

Sponsors for Swamptown Getdown include Applebee’s, Atlantic Coast Bank, Brantley Printing, Dr. Craig & Sandy Kubik, Crews Forestry Services, Duncan and Associates Surveying and Mapping, Hickory Wind Music, Hickory Wind Recording Studio, James Engraving, Jones Company, PrimeSouth Bank, Quality Inn, Sikes Bottled Water Distribution, Southern Eagle Distributors, Tapley Construction, Tyre Signs, Vyve Broadband, Waycross Coca-Cola, Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross-Ware Co. Tourism Bureau, Whitaker’s Golf Carts, Wong’s Palace Restaurant, and Yarbrough Printing.

For festival information, artist links and performance schedule, visit  www.stgdfest.com.